The best clamp for woodworking should be able to help you achieve the right force and stability you need for your project. Because of how important owning one is, you need to be extra careful when selecting the right product for you.
To help you figure out exactly what you need, we have rounded up the top products you’ll find reliable in most of your projects. They are guaranteed to get the job done precisely and accurately.
Check out our top picks below:
Our Pick: IRWIN Tools QUICK-GRIP Clamp Set
For one, the set has One-Handed Mini-Bar Clamps which is made of high-tech reinforced resin. This ensures durability and strength. It can exert a force of up to 150 lbs. The clamps feature non-marring pads to firmly grip your project.
The set also has a Handi-Clamp which is designed particularly for odd-shaped workpieces. It has this ratcheting mechanism which gives an adjustable clamping pressure. Spring Clamps almost have the same purpose.
Runner Up: TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp
It features a quick release button which you can use to freely slide its jaw into any position you want. With that, you can consider the product as one of the quickest clamps you can set up or take down as needed.
Also Great: MLCS 9001 Can-Do Clamp
MLCS 9001 Can-Do Clamp is for corner joining. It serves as a jig where you’ll be able to fit two pieces of wood together with precision. It has this sliding T-handle which applies force directly so you can glue and hold both pieces while waiting for them to dry.
The clamp can also add stability if you mount it to a work table. It’s a feature you’ll find handy whenever you’re working with delicate pieces and you don’t want to mess them up. With how easy it is to use and set up, you’ll find this product really valuable for special projects.
Budget Pick: Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose Clamp
Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose Clamp features a 4-inch bar clamp which is just right for holding down work, adding glue and most of your clamping tasks. It’s specifically made for light-duty projects.
The product features a wood grip handle that’s ergonomic. There’s a protective cap to ensure that you don’t damage the material.
When you compare it with those ratcheting clamps you’ll find in your local hardware store, this product is a lot more rigid and clamps with more force. It’s not that prone to flexing as it has a sturdy built. This simply means that the clamps can last a long time.
One issue with the product is that it has no ratchet or clutch. If you need to lock it, you’ll need to tilt back the bottom jaw and keep it in position while you’re tightening the clamp. Honestly, the process isn’t as complicated as it sounds.
How to Choose the Best Clamp for Woodworking
Choosing the best clamp for woodworking is never a walk in the park. With so many options, you can easily end up buying the wrong one, particularly if you aren’t aware of what factors to consider in your purchase.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ll be sharing with you the top criteria we used in coming up with this list.
There’s really not that much to look for in terms of quality other than the materials they’re made of when you’re purchasing clamps.
Clamps made of plastic should be able to last you for several years. As much as possible, go with flexible softer plastic as hard brittle plastic has this tendency to crack.
With metal parts, make sure that there aren’t cracks while for wooded parts, ensure that they are made of hardwood.
The handle of your clamp should be comfortable to use. They should possess an ergonomic design so you won’t have a hard time maneuvering. You should also check if the handles are secure and can prevent your hands from slipping.
Ease of Use
The usage of clamps is pretty straightforward. You shouldn’t have a hard time mounting or attaching them to your project. If you are clueless or if it’s your first time to use one, you can always read the manual first.
Always check the clamp’s clamping measure. Having just the right amount of pressure is important when you’re holding two objects perfectly stationary after gluing.
You see, when a clamp applies excessive force, it will result in an uneven glue line. The glue may not be able to hold the parts together for a long time.
Pressure is different from the force, in that pressure refers to the force exerted by one object on another area’s surface. For example, if your clamp has smaller jaws, it will automatically apply more force once they’re closed.
For us, IRWIN Tools QUICK-GRIP Clamp Set is easily the best clamp for woodworking. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the other products on this list, the clamps come as a set so you won’t need to spend extra to buy more different clamps.
Additionally, the products are made of high-quality materials that should be able to last you a long time. You won’t have to worry about buying replacements frequently. They offer a strong grip and precise force whether you’re holding pieces or gluing parts together.